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Wolfboy99
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Joined: 30 Apr 2018
Age: 59
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02 May 2018, 11:29 am

Hi!

I’ve read through many of the forums here and on the psych forums Aspergers section.

I’m putting this out there just to see what you all think.

Recently my wife of 12 years suggested i might be autistic. I found and took three online tests that all indicated i am most likely have AS.

After researching AS on the web, I found that AS explains my history almost perfectly. Being a 57 year old (male for the record), i’ve trained myself to make eye contact and suppressed any repetitive movements, but everything else seems to apply to me. I’ve learned to fit in, but still inexplicably find myself misunderstood more or less constantly.

I’ve never been officially diagnosed with anything, mostly because no one really knew about AS when i was younger.

I don’t see the point in an official diagnosis, especially because it may disrupt my employment. I inquired and an official diagnosis will likely cause me to lose my medical clearance. That would put me at the mercy of the NT’s in charge of the medical division.

Also, being gainfully employed, i’m not sure there would be any benefit to an official diagnosis.

That said, I want a diagnosis. I feel that i’ve finally found out why i’m the way I am and why I’ve had to struggle through life.

Other than that, i’m not sure where to go from here. I definitely have issues that bother my wife, but she has been very positive and supportive upon learning that I likely have AS. She acknowledges that there is no cure, but still wants me to talk to a psychologist.

I’m okay with that, but am not really sure how that will benefit me.

Comments or questions are welcome.


_________________
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 155 out of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 57 out of 200
AQ 41


Persephone5
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02 May 2018, 11:58 am

Hi, welcome :-) I'm new here as well and in a similar situation. Hopefully you'll get some helpful responses.



kraftiekortie
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02 May 2018, 12:18 pm

The advice would depend upon where you're located.

What sort of "clearance" do you have?



Wolfboy99
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02 May 2018, 1:25 pm

Hi. I’m located in NY state. I have a class II medical.


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Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 155 out of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 57 out of 200
AQ 41


Trogluddite
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02 May 2018, 4:23 pm

Welcome! :D

Given your concerns about your employment, you may be as well to hang around in places like this one to develop a greater understanding of your condition before deciding whether or not something more formal is necessary or desired.

Even though I did go through a very thorough assessment for my diagnosis, the simple fact is that I have learned far, far more about my condition by talking to other autistic people than from the "people in white coats". There is also the issue that, unless you find a professional with specific training in autism, you may well end up seeing somebody with a pretty poor understanding of autism. I had plenty of contact with physicians, therapists and psychologists for over three decades without an autism assessment ever being suggested, despite my autism being described as very obvious once I did see a specialist. Even if you do decide to go for a diagnostic assessment, they will usually only cover the distinctive aspects of autism necessary for reaching a diagnosis, which can leave huge areas unexplored - including, for example, the marital issues which you mentioned.

So, I would recommend deferring any decision on seeking formal help for the time being, and learn as much as you can from the many good people here who have lived the experience. If you do decide later that you would like to be formally assessed, this will stand you in good stead for better describing your traits to the "experts", which will give you a better chance of accessing the appropriate specialist services.


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skibum
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02 May 2018, 6:13 pm

If you choose to get a diagnosis, you do not have to disclose it to your employer or to anyone. You can tell whom you choose but you are not required to tell anyone at all if you do not want to. If you are gainfully employed and doing well at a job that you enjoy, consider yourself very blessed. Many many people on the Spectrum are not so lucky. That is really great and I would hate for anything to jeopardize your job.

Sometimes an official diagnosis can be very helpful but you have to weigh the pros and cons after really looking carefully at both sides. ask lots of specific questions. There is no time frame on this. A self diagnosis is great as well because now have a reference point from where you can begin to learn and understand about issues in your life that may have plagued you without you knowing why. That is really fantastic when we are able to do that. Keep us posted on things and let us know how you decided. We will support you either way.


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Wolfboy99
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02 May 2018, 7:03 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. It is most appreciated.

I just got back from my annual physical and asked my doctor what he thought about the online assessments for AS.

Goodness. He completely discredited them. Further, he suggested that Asperger’s Syndrome is just an excuse for poor behavior. Oh my. That experience was discouraging to say the least.

As far as reporting stuff, I’m required to report all doctors visits and anything that might affect my medical clearance. Yes, I can lie or omit, but that in itself is a scary path to take.


FWIW, here are results of my aspie quiz:

Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 155 out of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 57 out of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)

Thanks for the responses so far.


_________________
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 155 out of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 57 out of 200
AQ 41


Trogluddite
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02 May 2018, 7:24 pm

^ Try not to be too disheartened. As I said in my earlier post, this kind of thing is very common from healthcare professionals outside of the autism speciality. The test quizzes, particularly the ones linked from here, are very often used as the first stage of a formal diagnostic assessment - they're used for screening precisely because they have been found clinically useful. They can't be completely conclusive, but if you have answered as honestly as you can, they are a good indication that you may have an autistic spectrum condition, or at least, many of the same traits. And I doubt that there's a diagnosed person here who hasn't hear the "making excuses" argument a thousand times.

So, don't bail out just yet. Identifying key traits and getting advice on how to deal with them is the most important thing. If you browse around here and join a few threads, you will see quickly enough whether or not you fit the mould - you'll find yourself having "aha!" moments about things which only ever resulted in blank stares whenever you tried to mention them to anyone else before (I'm still having them after nearly three years!)


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kraftiekortie
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02 May 2018, 7:30 pm

Asperger's (or Type I Autism) is certainly not a diagnosis that you have to disclose to anybody. It's not like it's leprosy.

Getting the diagnosis wouldn't make you lose your clearance. If you told them, however, then it would get them to thinking....

I happen to live in New York State. Queens County, to be more precise.



Last edited by kraftiekortie on 02 May 2018, 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ASPartOfMe
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02 May 2018, 7:39 pm

One option is to request what I call an "unofficial diagnosis". You get assessed, the clinician says you are autistic but no diagnostic report is written. Only you and the clinician know.

I am not a disability lawyer but the refusal to get medical clearance sounds illegal.


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motorcyclemama
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02 May 2018, 7:54 pm

If things are generally working ok I wouldn’t bother with an official diagnosis. The important thing is that you know. I did not get diagnosed until I almost exhausted myself trying to act like a nt and I am now on a disability support pension, but I’m in Australia and things seem to be a little easier here. My main problem was burnout, incredible exhaustion after any social contacts. Get to know your limitations, get alone time when you needed and most importantly research and share what you find out with your family.



progaspie
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03 May 2018, 1:51 am

Wolfboy99 wrote:
Thanks for the encouragement. It is most appreciated.

I just got back from my annual physical and asked my doctor what he thought about the online assessments for AS.

Goodness. He completely discredited them. Further, he suggested that Asperger’s Syndrome is just an excuse for poor behavior. Oh my. That experience was discouraging to say the least.

As far as reporting stuff, I’m required to report all doctors visits and anything that might affect my medical clearance. Yes, I can lie or omit, but that in itself is a scary path to take.


FWIW, here are results of my aspie quiz:

Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 155 out of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 57 out of 200
You are very likely neurodiverse (Aspie)

Thanks for the responses so far.

Your only point of discussing your suspected self diagnosis of ASD with a medical practitioner is to ask for a referral to a mental health professional or clinical psychologist. Other than that if you've known your doctor for some time, you could have a conversation with him (or her) as one equal to another equal swapping ideas with him about your suspected diagnosis, like you have a private conversation with any other individual about any concern you have about yourself, but until you see a mental health professional only that person can push you to an official diagnosis which would satisfy you knowledge. Since you seem to be worried about the effect an official diagnosis would have on your medical clearance at work, I would be hesitant to take the matter any further.



strings
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03 May 2018, 7:25 am

Wolfboy99 wrote:
I just got back from my annual physical and asked my doctor what he thought about the online assessments for AS.
Goodness. He completely discredited them.


It is all too easy for a sceptical person to dismiss "online quizes" in the same glib manner they might (quite properly) dismiss a horoscope or a palm-reader.

In the case of the AQ test it was published by a highly reputed autism researcher in a major academic journal. It was devised as a screening test for autism spectrum disorders, and has been widely used and discussed by other researchers in the field. It doesn't lose any of its validity as a screening test just because it also happens to have been implemented online at various websites. Yet people who want to disparage it, and anyone's path towards a self-diagnosis, will almost invariably do so by dismissing it as "an online quiz."



AngryAngryAngry
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03 May 2018, 3:52 pm

Welcome.
You don't need it to be official. You already know the truth.

As for a psychologist that might be good, as they can give you some strategies for coping with stress/meltdowns/anxiety.
Or suggest ways of interracting with NT's better.



Wolfboy99
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03 May 2018, 8:12 pm

Hi.

I really want to thank all of you for such kind, thoughtful replies. I am so happy to be here.

When I’m brave enough, i will want to share some of my personal experiences to see if they are widely shared, if that’s acceptable.


_________________
Your neurodiverse (Aspie) score: 155 out of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 57 out of 200
AQ 41